Pumpkin Blondies with Cashew Buttercream

Finally I can share with all of you my Halloween recipe! This year I've had a few troubles until everything looked the way I wanted, and not because these blondies came out bad nor the recipe was tricky...but because this crazy autumn weather forced me to wait almost a week until the sun finally came out! It's been so grey and dark that made it almost impossible to get a few decent pictures considering I always shoot with natural light; this made me think about buying some small lighting equipment, but I'm afraid there's no room at home for more blog-related things.
So, I had all set up to shoot this recipe but as soon as I was done decorating the last piece of blondie it got dark and started to rain...it was so dark I felt like I was in a Silent Hill video game.
I tried to take a few pictures but even with a lot of editing they didn't look good to me so I kind of ate my feelings and devoured a couple blondies, haha.
You know how much I enjoy making these Halloween recipes, thinking about the styling, etc. But this year I'm so busy doing more collaborations than ever that it felt like a pain in the ass to repeat it all over again a week later, but at least I took it as a second chance to change some little details about the buttercream decoration and add new props.
Now let's talk about these blondies: they are super tender, moist, deliciously spiced and frosted with my favorite orange cashew buttercream. If you try this recipe I'm sure everyone at your home will love them and their size makes them the perfect sweet treat to serve during your Halloween party! 
Surrender to this deadly temptation and enjoy these blondies with your favorite cup of tea, latte or witch's potion! I warn you, they are so yummy even the undead will knock on your door asking for a piece. ;-)
Scroll down to the end of this post* to check out some of my favorite old Halloween recipes.
Pumpkin Blondies with Cashew Buttercream
(yield: 9 blondies approx.)

1 cup pumpkin pure.
1 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 1/2 tbsp water.
1/3 cup mild-taste extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 cup coconut sugar.
1 cup spelt flour.
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt.
3/4 teaspoon baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 tsp baking powder.
1 teaspoon cinnamon.
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
1/4 teaspoon cloves.
1/2 cup pecan nuts, roughly chopped.

- For the orange cashew buttercream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight.
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.
1/4 cup agave syrup.
1/2 cup melted coconut oil.
2 drops orange essential oil (organic and food-grade).
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.
A small pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

I recommend to make the buttercream before the blondies so it has enough time to set in the fridge overnight. Here's my plan: 
- Soak cashews overnight.
- Make the buttercream and let it set in the fridge overnight.
- Make the pumpkin blondies. Let cool, frost and transfer to the fridge before slicing.
- Once the frosted blondies are cool you can cut them into 9 or 12 (smaller) portions.

- To make the cashew buttercream:
Soak cashews in water with a pinch of salt overnight. The day after don't forget to drain well before using them.
Place cashews, almond milk and agave syrup inside the jar of your high-speed blender or food processor and pulse until almost no bits of cashews are visible. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process until completely smooth. Transfer the cream to an airtight container and let it cool in the fridge until it reaches a buttercream-like consistency and looks spreadable, preferably overnight.
- To make the pumpkin blondies:
Lightly grease a square brownie pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, it is recommended to leave some extra paper hanging over the sides so you'll be able to lift the paper out when the blondies are done.
Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF).
Make the flax egg by stirring together the ground flax seeds with the water in a small bowl, let it sit for 5 minutes approximately or until it has a thick, gel-like consistency.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Use a wire whisk to aerate the mixture and get all the ingredients well distributed, set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk pumpkin pure, oil, and sugar. Mix vigorously until combined and stir in flax egg.
Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula just until combined. Finally, fold in the chopped nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula and bake for 30 minutes approximately, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with tiny moist crumbs.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, unmold and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cover the entire surface of the cake with the chilled cashew buttercream and let it set in the fridge until cold (preferably overnight), this way you'll get cleaner cuts and the frosting will stay in its place.
Cut the blondies into 9 or 12 portions, depending on the size of your brownie pan and how big or small you want to serve this dessert. I cut mine into 9 portions to make them look more like little individual cakes rather than the typical small brownie squares.
Decorate each blondie with pecan nuts and a little bit of ground cinnamon sifted on top.

*If you wanna see some of my previous Halloween recipes, check the list below:
- Pumpkin & sweet potato pie, here.
- Super dark bundt cake, here.
- Brownie-crusted pumpkin blondies, here.
- Bloody cupcakes, here.
- Pumpkin cheesecake, here.